The journey to becoming a professional artist

The journey to becoming a professional artist

How to successfully develop and maintain an artistic practice.

6 Month Mentorship Program | Your Mentor Cherie McNair


This program aims to help participants build on an existing artistic practice and support the development of a body of work while acquiring the industry skills that are essential to maintain a professional practice.

Over the course of 6 months, participants will be expected to finalise a body of work to a high exhibition standard with the support of our mentor, Cherie McNair. Alongside development of the work, each month a personalised assignment will be set around a practical topic. The course will also cover the business aspect of artistic practice, grant applications and commissions, working with curators and institutions. The mentorship will conclude with a 2 week exhibition, curated by Cherie.

The program is designed so that an existing body of work can be developed, refined and completed. Alternatively, a new body of work can be initiated if a well considered proposal is in place at the outset.

The program will cover the following areas:

  • Presenting your work for exhibition and online galleries (website, blog etc)
  • Managing artistic practice as a business
  • Project management and how to work with business partners (printers, framers etc)
  • Industry liaison and communication with curators and institutions
  • Approaching festivals and the international market
  • Funding and grant applications
  • Pricing for galleries, commissions and public art projects.

The fee includes:

  • 6 months personalised mentorship (6 hours per session)
  • 2 weeks gallery hire (students are expected to manage the space during the exhibition period with support from the Contact Sheet team)
  • Access to a closed Facebook group to share ongoing work with the group and your mentor.
  • Light refreshments and a glass of wine at the end of the day.

This mentorship is by application only. This is to ensure this program is right for you, and for Cherie to answer any questions.

Application requirements.

Please provide the following in a 2 page PDF format.

  • 6 images from the body of work that you plan to develop during the mentorship program
  • Link to show reel (if you work with moving image, multimedia etc)
  • Artist Statement and Bio (max 500 words)
  • Proposal - please include information regarding the project you plan to develop and how you think the program will benefit your practice (max 500 words)
  • CV

Cherie and Contact Sheet Director, Paul McDonald, will review all applications and conduct either a Skype or face to face informal chat. This is to ensure this program is right for you, and for Cherie to answer any questions.

Program Fees & Dates

Program commences 18th April 2020, 10am - 4:30pm Incl, Lunch
$1,950.00 AUD Plus. GST

Please note payment plans are available for our mentorship programs.

Email you application to or for further information. One of our team will contact you back within one business day. 

Your mentor: 
Cherie McNair with guest mentors and speakers. 

Why learn with Contact Sheet?

Because we do photography education differently.

Hear from our past students

If you wish to discuss the program or payment plans, we are happy to answer any questions. Please email us or call us directly on 0416 053 665.

Image © Paul McDonald | Taken from the series 'resonance' curated by Cherie McNair